Starlink – closing the rural broadband gap

Operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, Starlink has become somewhat of a household name due to its efforts to help keep Ukraine connected at the start of the Russian invasion. Using a constellation of low orbit satellites, which are launched by SpaceX rockets, Starlink’s connectivity is delivered through satellites which beam broadband connection to where you are. Coverage is achieved across most of the world – which is great news for rural areas where connectivity is rarely available or unreliable. 

How does Starlink work?

When you sign up to Starlink, you will receive a kit that includes a router and a satellite dish – or terminal, as Starlink calls it. The dish that you have needs to be positioned perfectly to correspond with one of the 2,000 Starlink satellites above and receive the Internet signal. The satellite communicates with the closest ground station, or gateway, which passes the bandwidth to your terminal, and the tech takes care of everything else. To help set this up, there’s a Starlink app which features augmented reality (of course!) to help ascertain where the best place to put the dish is at your end. As Starlink installers, we can do this for you, to make it even easier.

Connection everywhere, quickly

You may be thinking, sure it’ll offer Internet connection in a rural area, but I bet it will be at the speed of screeching dial up – but you’d be wrong.

Speed testing company, Ookla®, undertakes regular comparative tests of both broadband and mobile phone connections, and while Starlink’s speed varies dependent on location, latest data shows that it has a faster median download speed than the UK’s median for fixed broadband. Testing which took place at the end of 2021 shows there to be quite a difference in the numbers – 121.94 Mbps Starlink download speed vs 57.66 Mbps from the median UK’s fixed broadband provider. Upload speed was comparable, and latency was 36ms, compared to 15ms for all fixed broadband providers – so it is reliable enough for multiplayer online games. Previous versions of satellite internet has seen problems with the delay, but Starlink’s satellites are low orbit, which reduces the delay.

Starlink – connecting everyone

Because of its high speed and consistent connection levels, Starlink is not only a great Internet option for those in rural locations but for everyone who wants to enjoy Internet access.

If you’d like to know more or discuss whether Starlink would be the right set up for you, get in touch – we’d love to help.

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